Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rules for Writing

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
  Somerset Maugham

The last couple days I've connected in some form or fashion with several writers who have said their story isn't going the way they planned.  And boy do I understand that!!!    There are a couple things to remember though.

First...you have to do what works for you.  Some of us are plotters.  Some of us write without a idea of where we are going or where the story will end up.  And that's cool.   Whatever gets your story written is what you need to do.

Some folks like long drawn out character profiles filed in before they start writing.  Others like to get to know their characters as the story happens.  Again, whatever works and gets the story on the page.

Some writers come up with a bare glimmer of an idea and write not knowing what they'll end up with.  Others worry about word counts and genres before putting a word down.

Most writers write a rough first draft without editing any at all. Others, like myself, have to edit and revise as we go along.  Again, it's whatever works and gets the story written.

Second...no matter how you work...it's the story that's important.    The story you are trying to tell is more important than how you get it on the page.

I say don't worry about how others write.  Write the way that works best for you.  Sure, when it comes time to market the piece, there are some general principles that have to be observed but that's for another post.:-)


  1. Hmmm...could I have been one of those people? I'm trying to let the words just flow. It's the control freak in me that doesn't like those controlling characters. LOL!


  2. I've been learning how to write for the last year and a few months and now I don't remember how. Ideas have stopped showing up or, when the occasional brave one pokes its head in the door, they dissolve away in a flurry of trying to determine if they are really good enough to write about or if they are losers from the get-go.

    Not going the way I planned?

    Not going at all. :-(